Transactional email is a method of customer communication in which automated, real-time messages are sent to users through email after a specific action has been performed within an application or website. These types of emails are narrowly focused to facilitate an agreed-upon transaction between the sender and the recipient.
Transactional emails not only validate and assure recipients that an action they have taken within a product or application has been completed, but also strengthen customer relationships by opening up channels of communication with personalized messaging.
Transactional emails are known to have strong user engagement rates as these messages are unique to the actions taken by a user. Open rates, repeated open rates, and click-through rates are typically much higher for transactional emails when compared to other types of emails, making them a great touchpoint for upselling, social sharing, soliciting feedback, cross-promotion and more.
Findings from the 2018 Transactional Email Benchmark Report indicate that businesses leverage transactional email to drive customer engagement, retention, and conversion. Of over 1,800 survey respondents, a majority of email senders see transactional email as important to customer engagement (82%), retention (80%), and conversion (72%).
Transactional emails that are implemented at the right stages of the customer journey can be critical drivers of growth and revenue for any business.
Transactional email use cases
There are many ways in which businesses can leverage transactional email throughout the customer journey to drive positive customer experiences, while at the same time driving revenue.
Welcome / Onboarding
User Invites and Sharing
Two Factor Authentication
Reports / Dashboards
Customer-first businesses pay close attention to the most critical moments of the customer journey and take advantage of business-critical insights to capitalize on increasing product adoption and user engagement. Transactional emails are a great way to notify fans, subscribers, users, and paying customers of important product moments that are fundamental to the success of business relationships.
Research shows that some of the most common types of transactional emails are new user welcome messages, followed by application notifications, password resets, onboarding, and education.
Each business is unique and should invest a significant amount of time and resources into testing and identifying exactly which moments of the customer journey are tied to customer engagement and revenue, and then consider utilizing transactional email as a method of communication.
How transactional emails work
One of the fundamental components of successfully executing transactional emails is the principle of instantaneous delivery. These types of messages often fulfill the expectations of a user after they’ve engaged with a business feature – ensuring top-notch email deliverability is critical to the success of transactional messages. Understanding the functionality of transactional email can open doors of opportunity for product and customer experience programs.
Transactional emails are most commonly generated automatically by e-commerce or other software applications that call an email API to create and send messages. Sophisticated product teams typically configure their product or application to trigger an email API after a certain action has been performed by the user. Thus, messages are sent instantaneously and delivered straight to the user’s inbox at the moment of transaction
Embedding email into an application or website is surprisingly simple when using the right email service provider and transactional email API.
Improve the transactional emails you send
Whether your goals are to properly onboard customers, send usage notification, security alerts, or more, there are numerous ways in which you can consider improving the transactional emails you send to impact your bottom line. A great starting point would be to embrace a customer-first mindset and place your customers at the center of your email strategy. From there, you can start considering how to position transactional email as a core product feature and allocate time and resources to testing, monitoring, and innovating your overall communication strategy. It can be helpful to assign business owners within your organization to oversee product messaging and communications. Those owners can then define strategies, drive reporting, and be the backbone of your email program.
Ultimately, a lot of time and resources should be invested into selecting an email service provider that is focused on deliverability and can accommodate your email sending needs. Consider what matters most to how your customers experience your products and services. Use these insights to evaluate how you can leverage email at critical moments of business transactions to improve and grow your business.
Check out SparkPost’s transactional email API to learn more about how you can get started with sending high-performing emails that reach the inbox at the most critical moments of the customer journey.